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Running and Diamonds

How I became a Nike designer…

  • Sep 12 2016
  • 0

How I became a Nike designer…

A must read for any runner or hard working, creative, big dreaming, goal driven, and passionate artist.


I am a runner. I started running at the age of 9 and have been running ever since. I love running so much that just talking about it makes me smile. Not only am I a runner, I’ve turned my passion for running into a business. A business that has been my sole source of income for the last seven years and, as a single mother, has supported both my son and I.

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In the last 7 years, I have operated the company in every aspect and all business processes including creating unique, original jewelry and apparel designs that reflect my electric enthusiasm for the sport I love, running.

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Over the years I have had the opportunity of showing our products to some of the most exciting running audiences in the entire world. These audiences include the symbolic, prestigious, marathon of all marathons, The Boston Marathon, the happiest race on earth, The Walt Disney World Marathon, and, in 2015, we were even selected to design the official jewelry of the internationally renowned San Francisco Marathon, just to name a few.

I also sell both our jewelry and apparel products at wholesale to a number of running stores and online retailers around the country. In 2014, we were invited and attended a retail show where the top running brands in the world showcased their products to specialty running stores from all across the world.

To add to our portfolio, our products have also been advertised in Runner’s World Magazine, by far the number one runner’s magazine on the planet. And our jewelry and apparel has also been featured on Active.com, which hosts the world's largest directory of sports and recreational activities, facilities, venues and classes, which includes more than 290,000 races, leagues, tournaments, camps and other recreational listings in more than 80 sports and 5,000 cities. Pretty much anyone who runs marathons or half marathons has had the opportunity to see our products in one way or another.

The Endure brand can be recognized in cities all over the country. Over the summer I traveled to Chicago where I had mentioned what I do to a fellow runner I had just met. After showing her my designs, her face lit up and she said, “Oh I’ve seen that shirt. A lady I just saw was wearing it running down the street!” Now if you can put a measuring stick to business success, whether it’s a number or a fact...hearing this woman say this, who I had just met, was priceless.

Now let’s rewind to this past spring where my hopes and dreams of becoming a designer for Nike begin to fall into place…

(and please be prepared for A LOT of Disney references as I am a CRAZY runDisney fanatic!)

The story begins this past April, I was selling my product at a running expo as usual. It was just another day in Monterey when a woman comes up to my booth and says, ““I need this shirt. My daughter has one exactly like it. I am so excited we are going to match.” I was so happy to hear that her daughter had the kid version of our shirt. I had never met this woman before and it was exhilarating to see her eyes light up when she went to grab the shirt I had designed. It made me so proud.

My 3-year-old at the time was one of the “models” featured on our website and that possibly meant his cuteness could take credit for the sale. This made me happy.

On our website we have a picture of him, his cousins, and his best little girl friend wearing neon yellow and neon pink versions of this shirt. So I proceeded to ask her, “Which one does she have? The pink or the yellow?”. She looked at me confused and said, “Its black…” continuing with a confused smile, “It’s exactly like this though except it’s Nike. I’m so excited to match her!” I processed her payment and let her on her way. I was so confused...did Nike really have a shirt like this?

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After she skipped off with her new tank, I immediately googled “Nike Run Smile” and this is what I found.

I was shocked.

Now as a designer, I understand the whole “gray area” of design and copyright and if the design is changed “enough” then another artist can publish something similar, just as long as it doesn’t create brand confusion. But when someone comes up to purchase a shirt and says, “...My daughter has one exactly like it.”, it pretty much confirms to me that brand confusion just took place right before my eyes. It wasn’t just a friend who noticed the similarity. So let’s examine them side-by-side:

I created my signature design in 2014. After realizing the success of the design, I obtained a copyright in 2015 that is now registered with the Federal Copyright office. My run smiley design has taken on many fun and festive variations including a Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter versions, with many more still waiting to be released. This shirt has become a signature look that is synonymous with Endure branding.

Looking at the two designs side-by-side I know there are some subtle differences. Nike tilted the face more upright, they also used capital letters instead of lowercase letters. But the hand-sketched style, and the fact that the left eye is an “R”, the nose is a “U”, and the right eye is an “N” make it so similar that when I posted this on social media, people just thought I was releasing the “t-shirt version” of our tank!

Now really...does making the R and N uppercase make it all okay? Does taking the concept and changing it just a little bit make it okay to completely take credit for a design? It shouldn’t. It’s just not fair. If this were a bigger company, Nike couldn’t and wouldn’t expect to get away with something like this. Nor would another company expect to get away with “slightly” changing a piece of art that Nike actually designed for their own brand.

Okay Nike, I’ll give you this, you weren’t the first to be “inspired” by our designs. We have successfully notified other companies of the copyright and they have politely removed their versions of the design from their stores.

One other company has been not so nice...but that’s a completely different story in itself. Check out our social media stalkers Gone for a Run below…

Our original designs are shown on the left…Gone for a Run’s ”inspirations” on the right.

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...I think they might be crushing a little to hard on our jewelry

And now our apparel too…..they posted their pink version within hours of our #FindingSunny game at Walt Disney World in February.

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Come on seriously?

That’s pretty much like Jafar trying to get Jasmine to fall in love with him.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Shame on you!

Back to the Nike story...

So the question I would get after showing these eerily similar shirts to people, the first question was always, “So are you going to sue them?”.

Long story short, we sent them a cease and desist (which, by the way, cost me well over 100 shirts of profit margins), and they basically flipped us the bird via legal document. The jist of it said, “We didn’t copy, we designed it on our own, we didn’t know about your design, it’s not substantially similar anyway…” and that they considered the matter closed. I call Pinocchio on this one…

So basically Nike gets e-mails with accusations of copyright infringement and they respond with this letter pretty much saying, go away, it’s not worth our time, STFU. And apparently this seems to work because who is going to be able to afford suing a monster like Nike? ...and with the legal teams they must have on their end, they know a single mommy really can’t do much without risking it all, just to end up possibly losing in the courtroom. So not fair.

Hey Nike, just a little FYI: flexing your wallets might make me back down from trying to sue you...but listen, bullying is not nice.

Up until this moment, I loved Nike. I had Nike everything. I wore Nike Pegasus to run in even though they weren’t the number one fit at my local Fleet Feet, I just loved the brand and I loved how they looked. They were a classic choice, a brand that grew out of a garage that began with a passion for running, just like my company did.

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I dressed my models in Nikes for photo shoots. I incorporated Nike products in my outfit posts and hashtagged and commented using their company handles accordingly. I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon as a bucket list race. I ran in Nike sports bras and traveled to the Nike outlet in Tulare pretty often just to update my wardrobe. I used a Nike watch, the Nike running app...the list goes on. I even dressed my little one in Nike. But this girl was Nike’d out.

I went through every emotion possible. I went from flattered at first, that Nike would like my design so much to produce one that they called their own, to heartbroken, to angry....

This is where the angry Sunny came out. Kind of like when Queen Elsa told Anna to leave and she unleashed the crazy giant snow monster, Marshmallow, after her.

Go away..

I started a #PaintingMyNikesRed campaign in hopes to get Nike’s attention. Perhaps they didn’t have time to deal with my case and maybe, just maybe this would shine a light on the situation.

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I got a lot of support and got some new people aware of what was going on. So much that over the last few weeks I had a number of people approach me, strangers even, just to buy the shirt they saw from the story they heard about on Facebook.

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Over the last few months, I found myself sharing this story over and over again with friends, family members, and complete strangers.

It made me sick.

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Commenting on posts and encouraging people to destroy their expensive Nike products to support me, at first felt empowering. Some of them used paint, some used red tape, some just bought my shirts and posted the shirt with the hashtag #PaintingMyNikesRed to help raise awareness. But with every encounter, every post, every mention of Nike, came heaviness, anger, and frustration. Think Inside Out...and Joy sitting with her arms crossed in the corner waiting for her turn to shine.

This just wasn’t me. I started getting sad about a happy face. Once I realized this, I knew that something needed to change. And it had to start with me.

After the initial buzz around the topic of “anti-Nike” and bloody red Nike shoes, I took some time off of the subject to let things settle.

My news feed became filled with violence from crazy things happening all over the world. Putting me in my place, helping realize that this isn’t really a tragedy, just a really sad, really disappointing story.

Soon after, my news feed became filled with Olympics. It was inspiring, beautiful things happened. Records were set. I got the opportunity to watch one of the girls from my hometown perform in front of the whole world. Another one of the girls I used to watch since high school was breaking Olympic records.

The entire time, I was flashed with Nike swoosh symbols; they were everywhere. As much as I tried to ignore it, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being punched in the chest each time I flashed across my screen.

I wondered. How could this happen? How often does this happen?

Pretty soon, my news feed became filled with presidential candidates and campaigns. I wondered...could anything really be done about this?

So I think I’ll ask some questions to those who might be able to give me the answer...

@RealDonaldTrump How do we keep giants like @Nike from taking advantage of small businesses? http://bit.ly/2cmDNZc

and…

@HillaryClinton Can a small, female-owned business stand a chance facing a giant like @Nike? http://bit.ly/2cmDNZc

Let’s cross our fingers and “retweet” and see if we can get an answer…

As for me...I am going to continue smiling when I run and will continue wearing my run smiley shirts proudly. I refuse to be sad about a happy face any longer.

I’d rather let Nike have that knock-off version of our shirt than spend any more of my time and energy being upset about this. I don’t care anymore.

Sunny badger don’t care!

Yes Nike...go ahead, keep that one.

Just do it.

You can take something that’s not yours, but for me, for my well-being, for my happiness, for my creativity to thrive and keep on thriving. I am left with no choice but to let it go…

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Thank you @Nike for the flattering gesture. I can now say that I’ve landed my dream job as a Nike designer…

Oh and P.S. @GoneforaRun...stop following us all over social media...it’s just creepy.

The Moms Behind the Brands

  • May 4 2016
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I just wanted to take a moment to encourage you all to thank my fellow exhibitor "Mommies" who have paved the way for running accessories across the country, even the world! Many people don't realize how small our operations are and that even though we are under those bright lights at the expo, we are all working our little tails off to bring you the best and most innovative products to make your experience the very best. Being a "mompreneur" often means, no days off, lots of overtime, no sleep, and finding creative ways to stay ahead of the game while juggling the huge responsibility of not only managing personal finance, inventory, marketing, product development, customer service, shipping, social media, and fitting in running and motherhood at the same time! Just because most of us don't have small etsy shops, doesn't necessarily we aren't small businesses so I want to thank you ALL for your continued support and Happy Mother's Day this special Tinker Bell weekend to all of these amazing Moms!

Happy Mother's Day Brenda Brundage from The Roo Sport! She developed a patented design on one of the most amazing running accessories ever invented! Go Mama go!

Happy Mother's Day Carrie Lundell from Sparkle Athletic! One of the founders of Sparkle Athletic, Boston Marathoner, and Mommy of 4!

Happy Mother's Day to Christy Baker of Running Skirts!

Happy Mother's Day to Cindy Lynch of Running Skirts! Look at her run with her two adorable cuties!

Happy Mother's Day Elise Wallace from Sparkle Athletic! An ironman finisher and mother of 2!

Happy Mother's Day Kelly from Sparkle Athletic! One of the strongest women I have ever met! *muah*

Sandy from BIC Bands a super hard-working Mother Runner! Happy Mother's Day to you!!

On behalf of all of these Mother Runners, we thank you for all of your support! Happy Mother's Day everyone!!

xo

Sunny and the Endure Team ;)

How Princess Ariel taught me everything I need to know about that #RunnerLyfe

  • Feb 15 2016
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(photo credit: princess.disney.com)

It’s that time again, ladies! Time to bat your eyes, pucker your lips, and lace up those running shoes for the runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World! We couldn’t be more excited to once again be a part of this year’s runDisney expo!

With each year, we try to bring fresh new designs to you to celebrate your races. This year, the most adventurous and determined Princess of them all has inspired us--Princess Ariel. Did you know that in the song, Part of Your World, Ariel is talking about running? Duh! Mermaid or not, she relates the most to us runners in the most obvious way. Let’s examine:

1.“Flippin’ your fins you don’t get to far. Legs are required...” Song: part of Your World

She understands the importance of training. Can’t just jump into these things, you know. Gotta get those legs race-ready!

2.“I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But I know something’s starting riiiight now!’ Song: Part of Your World

You start questioning your readiness for the race as you are literally standing in the corral of people waiting for the race to start. Is this really happening? Am I really doing this? What was I thinking? No, I got this. But do I? Welp, ready or not, here we go!

3.“…why does it…what’s the word…BURN!” Song: Part of Your World

You start singing this part of the song in your head (or out loud for some) just about the time in the race when your body really starts screaming at you. Feel the burn, ladies!

4.“You want thingamabobs? I got twenty. But who cares. No big deal. I want moreeeee.” Song: Part of Your World

You’ve become a runDisney race expert and your collection of medals has grown exponentially, resembling that of Ariel’s trove of thingamabobs. But, you’re unsatisfied and still want MORE. Congratulations, your running has now become an addiction.

Oh, Ariel. You get us all!

Princess Ariel is a true inspiration to us runners. She faced obstacles that could have easily stopped her from pursuing her dreams. Yet, despite the whole mermaid thing, the Sea Witch’s evil plan, her father’s untrusting of “the surface” and the human species, and oh yeah--not even having a voice, she overcomes all and accomplishes her dream to be a part of our [human] world. Now that’s determination! Ariel, you go girl!

Here are previews of some great designs inspired by the princess we all know and love!

Mermaid Pendant

Our signature “Runner Girl” turned mermaid! This pendant is cast and hand-finished in sterling silver and dipped in precious rhodium to help keep its lasting shine. In her tail is engraved the distances of the Princess Half Marathon weekend along with a beautiful genuine gemstone - 5k (pink topaz), 10k (Amethyst), 13.1 (half marathon – Emerald), or 19.3 (Glass Slipper Challenge – Blue Topaz). This pendant measures approximately 1" and can be worn on a necklace or added as a charm to one of our charm bracelets.

Mermaid Accent Charms

Accessorize your Mermaid Pendant necklace or bracelet by adding one of these mermaid-inspired flares! Whether it be a seashell, a “dinglehopper”, or both, these items truly look great together, completing your under-the-sea ensemble!

Vintage Fork Ring

“Human stuff, huh?!” Scuttle would surely find this to be something very special. These however are not for straightening your hair out, but we’ve taken sterling silver plated forks and turned them into rings! They are custom and are made with various style forks. Each one is different!

Princess Collection

We will be bringing our entire Princess Inspired collection for you to shop from, including our running princess girl, our princess crown designs, and much more!! Take a peek online at our Princess Collection to learn more--such fare-thee-well jewelry for all the princesses out there.

We can’t wait to see all of you this weekend at the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon. This will surely be a magical weekend! See you at the runDisney expo, booth 221!

Valentine's Day Guide For Your Favorite Runner

  • Feb 11 2016
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Candy Hearts and Running Rings by Endure Jewelry

Ok, so let me get this straight.

Valentine's Day is just days away and you haven’t gotten your special someone a gift?!

For it was just Christmas and the days of straight up B-R-O-K-E are finally behind you. And the New Year’s resolution of keeping fit has prompted you to sign up for 6 races you and your runner have made a pact to do over the next 6 months!

And now Valentine's Day is here. Sorry, there is no off-season in spoiling your loved one. It’s year round. At least that’s the argument I go with when talking my husband into buying something for me. Can’t say it works every time. Shucks!

While you may feel consumerism is behind all the hoopla of this holiday, you just can’t show up empty handed. Your runner deserves a little something for all the hard work she’s endured through training.

Well ol’ Marissa here is going to break things down for you. Here are a few of our favorite things that will surely win her heart over:

1. Love, and Give Back

Head on over to our IG @EndureJewelry and place a bid on our newest trademarked Smiley face designs, our Run Lover tank! These are SO limited that we only have 7 available for "purchase". They aren't listed on our website this year but we have 7 up for auction til tomorrow as we help our friend, Marathon Goddess, raise awareness for pancreatic cancer and cheer her on to complete her 100th marathon! Feel the love, and share the love this Valentine's Day, by participating in this fun event!

2.Something Practical

Ok, listen here: she NEEDS this. She doesn’t know yet that she needs this, but guaranteed she needs this. TRUST. Don’t tell me the things we want are not the things we need, because I’m pretty sure my want for this bracelet slash hair tie disguiseis a necessity in the running world. Us girls are infamous for wearing those little black hair ties on our wrist. We gotta be ready to throw down at a moments notice if we see a starting line and a race clock. Here’s a way to make this hair tie look a little less obvious and a lot more stylish.

3.Something Memorable

It’s like a medal….but not. Stay with me. Commemorate her race accomplishment with any of our race distance jewelry. Rings, earrings, and necklaces--alpha numeric or roman numeral. It’s like stylish bragging rights without having to haul her medal everywhere. She’ll wear her race distance proud because dang it, she did it!

4.Something Meaningful

Necklace & earring and earring & ring combos. I call it the twofer - two gifts in one. While they are sold separately, if you want to double the kudo points, buy one and then buy the matching necklace, ring, or earrings! We offer several styles that are running inspired and have some meaning behind them. Examples:

Roadrunner – For runners who strive for fast speeds. Necklace/ Earrings

Tortoise & the Hare – Slow and steady wins the race. Necklace/Earrings/ Ring

Running Wings – “And my God give us the wings of angels so that we can fly.” Earring/Ring (p.s. These earrings happen to be the Endure Jewel of the Week! Enjoy 25% Off through 2/13/16)

5.Something Unique

Okay, how cool is this? You can have a necklace made of her running!! I kid you not. Send in a side-profile photo of your runner and designer, Sunny, will turn it into a necklace. I’m more of a Phoebe from the sitcom Friends when I run, but you know what, I’m proud of it! Put that on a necklace and call it a day!

6.Something Disney

Disney. Need I really say more? NO, I do not. A true Disney fan will understand. A princess deserves a crown and a castle, right? While I don’t recommend buying an actual crown and castle (unless she’s into that and you have that kind of money), I think she’ll be just as happy with our smaller versions. Our Run Princess Crown ring and our Run Castle Necklace. How fitting for your running princess!

Run Princess Crown Rings

7.Something that will for sure guarantee you not becoming a resident of the dog house

Want to really set the bar high amongst your friends? Jubilee ring is where it is at. Pronounced joo-bi-lee. Well let me say that is bee-you-tea-ful. It’s twenty-six glorious, genuine diamonds representing the miles of a marathon. Bling bling, baby!

8.Something nerdy

Nothing speaks more to the heart than a Star Wars inspired gift. At least that’s what my inner Stars Wars nerd tells me. Our Galaxy hoodie has been an absolutely hit with our fans and we only have a few left! Pretty sure it’s because the sleeves have light sabers on them. Light. Sabers. Fun level: 10.

Star Wars Inspired Galaxy Hoodie by Endure

9.Something that reflects her heart

Bless your running heart, my love! That’s what you’ll say when you gift to her one of these rings. “Live Love Run” said so simply, but it’s every runner’s anthem. Does she live and breathe the sport? Then our Run Beat ring is the perfect gift. It’s a heartbeat rhythm that reads the word “run”.

Live Love Run Heart Ring by Endure JewelryRun Heartbeat Runbeat Ring by Endure Jewelry

10. Something she collects

Start a ‘build-a-bracelet” for her so she can continue to add commemorative pieces as she completes races. We have both charm bracelet and bead bracelet styles. This gift doubles as a motivator for her and a go-to gift for you! Think about it. You’re set for every Valentine's Day here on out, because she’s going to want to keep accomplishing race goals so that she can continue to add to her bracelet. I see this as an easy way out for you for all future Valentines, knowing exactly what to get her every year. #winning

There you have it. Now go be that amazing supporter every runner dreams of having! Happy Valentines Day to you and your favorite runner!

Marissa



Star Wars is LIFE...And other things I learned from runDisney Star Wars Weekend

  • Jan 25 2016
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Guys. I have a confession to make. I’m not a Star Wars fan.

BUT WAIT! Don’t stop reading yet! Because you’ll be glad to know that I’ve turned over a new leaf after meeting so many of you, super fans, at the runDisney Star Wars weekend in Anaheim, CA.

When Endure Jewelry Designer, Sunny, first asked me to join her at the runDisney expo for this year’s Star Wars 1/2 marathon event, I had to tell her I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies. (“Who ARE you?” is exactly what you are saying. I know.)

My knowledge of the movie series didn’t go much beyond the popular quotes, light sabers, set in the galaxy, good guys vs. bad guys, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, and the Star Tours ride at Disney. I know at least the very basics and I could probably fake my way through a Star Wars conversation. (Thank you Pop Culture)

But below, you’ll be happy to read my journey in becoming a Star Wars Fan.

1.) Sunny took me to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens before we even left Florida from the runDisney Marathon weekend. Ok, Star Wars…you have my attention. That movie was legit. Star Wars Fan Level: 1

2.) We played #FindingSunny where Endure fans who followed us on Instagram were given clues as to our whereabouts in Disneyland. If they found Sunny and I, they won some FREE Endure Jewelry. Seeing their excitement and energy for the weekend was awesome! I was totally getting jealous hearing all about your costumes. Star Wars Fan Level: 2

3.) Sunny absolutely LOVES Space Mountain, which for the time being is called HyperSpace Mountain complete with a Star Wars theme. She had us ride front row with our sunglasses on…3 times! Don’t knock it until you try it. SO Scary but SO awesome! Star Wars Fan Level: 3
4.) We rode Star Tours. Since I was a little girl, this has always been a favorite of mine, but NOW after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this ride had a whole new meaning. I actually recognized and knew the names of the beloved characters featured in the ride. C3P0, R2D2, BB8, Finn…gang’s all here! Star Wars Fan Level: 4

5.) Since we didn’t hand out all the prizes for #FindingSunny, the game continued at the runDisney expo where Endure Fans gave us a their best #wookie impression to receive their free jewelry. It was hilarious! I wish we had video. I now have a favorite character…Chewbacca. Star Wars Fan Level: 5


6.) There was a moment during Day 2 of the expo when there were 5 people wearing Endure’s Star Wars inspired Galaxy Hoodie all within 5 feet of each other! For Sunny, designer of the hoodie, it was truly a remarkable moment for team Endure. The support for Endure is unreal! We thank you! Star Wars Fan Level: 6


7.) On Sunday, I went to ESPN zone to play games. All the points I racked up from winning…yeah, I traded them in for Star Wars Trading Cards. (I don’t even recognize myself!) Star Wars Fan Level: 7

Well played Star Wars and Star Wars fanatics everywhere! I’m now a big fan. While I’m not quite yet at a 10, I believe I’m well on my way! Since returning home from quite the epic weekend, I had a movie marathon of all Star Wars movies, talked Star Wars with other super fans, theorized about how the movie will pick up after that kind of ending (BTW, what a tease!!!) I’m even considering watching The Clone Wars on Netflix because I want more!

I’ve come to the conclusion that Star Wars is LIFE. And thankfully Sunny is STILL selling all the Star Wars inspired jewelry and apparel, which I now HAVE to have. Because…Star Wars. You understand, don't you? www.EndureShop.com

by Marissa Garcia

Going Half Crazy: Part 4

  • Jun 29 2015
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PART 4: SUMMER 2014

I am thrilled to share with you the last three races of my 12 x 13.1 Mile journey! We will explore my June, July, and August races where I travel from Southern California in San Diego to Northern California in San Francisco, and finish it off with one of my favorite courses, the Disneyland Half Marathon in Anaheim, California.


Race #11 (Half Marathon Number 10)

Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon

This event was awesome. My very first half marathon was at a Rock N Roll event. It was the San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon and I ran it for the first 3 years. These events are so much fun and it's awesome hearing live music while you're running along the course!

I was excited to try another Rock N Roll race in a different city and I had heard so many great things about it. I don't know anyone who has ever had a bad time visiting San Diego so this weekend was a sure thing.

My goal time for this race was to break 1:50. I arrived at the race later than I had planned, which was unfortunate. The lines for the bathrooms were super long and the people in line had little to no sense of urgency and I was going to be late for the start of my corral. I ended up waiting in line long enough to where my corral had already taken off and I was going to start in the corral my friend, Mika, was assigned to. I thought, no big deal, but it messed me up pretty bad mentally. I was running with shallow breaths andzig-zagging through bunches of runners. Up until around mile 8 or 9, I still felt like I could have run my goal time. Once we got to mile 10, the weather changed. It was so hot and I wasn't prepared for that. I didn't drink enough water and my body was already tired from trying to play catch up with the clock.

I ran the rest of the race as best as I could. But knowing I wasn't going to run my goal time definitely played a factor in my finish time.

The weekend overall was wonderful. I saw so many friends from high school, college, and people I've met along the way since Endure began. I am pretty sure that this weekend, I had the most reunions with friends from childhood, elementary school, high school, college, grad-school, all the way to the beginning of the Endure days. Pretty much one friend from each time period in my life!


My God-brother Ryan and I with our medals after the finish.


My former Buchanan Bear, cross country and track team mate, Kelli (Vanderburg) Smith.


Jessica and Ashley were friends of mine at Fresno State


Another former Fresno State Bulldog who ran SD RNR, Roosevelt Cook.


My friend, Meridith, who I cheered with in college. She is one of the models/reps for Ink N Burn. But once upon a time, she was my model first!! ;)

Meridith and Marissa posing on the Clovis East Timberwolves Track, circa 2011 ;)


This is my friend, Alberto. I met him years ago at the Lake Tahoe Marathon where he ran three marathons in three days, barefoot. He set a world record that weekend. Read more about that story by clicking here: http://barefootrunning.com/


Well, this was my very first time meeting Meb, the winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon. He autographed a card for me and a poster for my sweet nephew. I got to see him again this past year in Boston. He's amazing!


Of course, Mika and I met while we were in elementary school. Kimi (Mika's sister), Mika, and I all ran in our Endure swag :)


Pre-race photos…

…and of course, post-race with the BLING!

This weekend was also the first weekend ever, that Endure had two shows simultaneously across California. We were there at the San Diego Rock N Roll Expo and also in San Francisco for the DIVAs race!


I was sent this photo of our Sales Rep, Heidi with the lovely Nina from RunningSkirts. It was awesome being able to share Endure with people in Northern California and Southern California on the same weekend. I'm so lucky to have friends who are on board with sharing Endure with the world with me!

San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon weekend was awesome.

Medal Earned: San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon Medal with the San Diego Skyline, orange ribbon and pretty enameling

Running Buddies: Mika, Kimi, Ryan, Jessica

Inspiration: All of my friends I got to see throughout the weekend!

Tips: Be hydrated, check out the course. There are some hills and some areas where you'll really need to take advantage of the water stations. Don't party too much just because you're in San Diego…celebrate after the race :)


Race #12 (Half Marathon Number 11)

San Francisco Marathon
(The Second Half)

San Francisco is one of my favorite places to go. This particular race is special to me because it was at this race where I ran my second full marathon. The full marathon course is split in two to make the first half and the second half marathon. I ran the second half marathon because I registered too late to run the first. The first half and the full marathon run over the Golden Gate bridge and the race starts earlier in the morning, which I would prefer to avoid any heat, even in the city!

My goal for this race was to break 2:00 hours. I wrote a blog post about not obtaining my goal time last year in August 2014.

Click here to read that post!

Medal Earned: San Francisco Marathon Medal

Running Buddies: I ran this one solo

Inspiration: Seeing my friend, Chelsea, on the course around mile 10!

Tips: Tranl for hills, especially downhills


Race #13 (Half Marathon Number 12)

Disneyland Half Marathon

As I prepare for the show this weekend, I am finally posting the final entry for my 12-month journey. I remember the feeling I had after I finished the final race, I remember it vividly even though it was almost one year ago. I was hot, and I was alone. I had run my 12th of 12 half marathons in 12 months and I didn't have anyone waiting there for me at the finish line. A moment that should have felt joyful, celebrating with loved ones, felt lonely, dry, and strange. I hadn't prepared myself for what this would feel like. The moment after the finish line, I hadn't planned for. After receiving my medal and my snacks, I made my way over to the massage booth. I normally never make the time to get a massage after the race so it was really nice to get there and not have to wait too long for my turn. I laid face-down on the massage table and began to cry. I was happy, proud, and relieved that I made it all the way through the year without skipping a race, and finishing every one of them. Even though my family wasn't there to congratulate me, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and excitement I hadn't felt in a long time. I think a big part of me wished the overwhelming feeling could be shared. After my massage, I went to sit by the stage to wait for some of my friends who I knew would be around, and I took this picture.

This medal was so much more special than the others because it represented all twelve races in one. I am so excited to return to Disneyland this week to run the happiest race on earth, once again!

Thank you so much for reading about my 12-month running journey. It was definitely an unforgettable experience. Now to my next goal…

QUALIFY FOR BOSTON! :)

Medal Earned: Disneyland Half Marathon Medal with a huge D and an adorable colorful ribbon

Running Buddies: I ran this one solo but my cousin Anthony ran and my friend Amy came along with me to help at the expo

Inspiration: Re-living each race over the past year and knowing that this was the true finish line

Tips: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Southern California weather, especially in the summer, is very unpredictable. If you're able to, and if you are from the west coast, try running during early early mornings on your training runs. Most runDisney races begin around 5:30am and you must account for enough time to arrive for bag check and to get through the crowds to your assigned corral.

Countdown to Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

  • Aug 22 2014
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Four more days until we head down to Southern California for the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo! This is one of my favorite races for so many reasons! First off, the race is at the happiest place on earth! Second, you get to dress up. Third, you get to see your favorite Disney characters at the start of the race and along the course. It’s a great weekend starting off with one of the most high-energy expos I’ve ever attended. If you’ve ever been a part of a runDisney event, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, you’re definitely missing out! Click here to view the official runDisney website. I highly recommend subscribing to their mailing list as some of their races are known to fill up in less than an hour of opening to the general public!

The race expo is a three day event full of fun and excitement. If you've never attended this event, or if you've felt any anxiety with so many things do that weekend, you'll want to pay attention to the five tips I've outlined to help streamline your weekend race experience. Below are 5 runner tips for Disneyland Half Marathon Race Weekend:

#1 Be Prepared

Running is 90% mental and 10% physical, at least that's what I learned in college. Prepare yourself for a weekend of fun! Race weekend is kicked off by one of the most colorful and high-energy expos on the planet. Make sure to do these three things: hydrate, eat a good breakfast, and take a deep breath. Drink a lot of water, eat a beignet, and get ready to get Disney-fief. There are three days of expo that precede the Disneyland Half Marathon. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are your opportunities to pick up your race packet and shop some of the best running brands. Disney races are unique from most other races since usually bib pick up is located in a separate hall than goody bag pick-up and the expo. Be prepared to wait in lines and to be among crowds of some of the happiest people on the planet (Disneyland + Runner endorphins = Happy people on fairy dust)

#2 Importance of your Smart Phone

Bring your fully charged smart phone. For a number of reasons you’ll need your phone handy. There are a number of photo opportunities you won’t want to miss and signs that will help you with posting your photos correctly on social media. They almost always recommend #runDisney on Twitter and Instagram, search these hashtags now to see some of the buzz that's already brewing. You’ll also want to make sure your phone is charged in case you attend the expo with your friends. Through all the craziness there is a chance you’ll get distracted by something sparkly or colorful and misplace your friends, you’ll want your phone at that moment. Another reason your phone will be important is that some of the brands will give you an additional discount if you’re connected with them on a social network like Facebook or Twitter, you’ll want to be able to show proof that you’re already their fan. Below is a photo I took in front of a Dumbo Double Dare Photo-op inside the Disneyland Hotel prior to entering the expo.

#3 Don't forget your ID and waiver

Don't forget to bring your photo ID and race waiver. Once you arrive at the convention center you’ll be directed downstairs to pick up your race number. This event is extremely organized and you’ll want to be prepared so you aren’t holding up the lines. Keep in mind there will be thousands of runners attending the expo all three days so you’ll want to keep the process as streamlined as possible and running all the way back to your car may mean a 1/2 mile trek to the Disneyland parking lot to get your ID.

#4 Pre-Ordered Purchases

Since some of the best brands will be represented at the expo there will definitely be a chance of "sell-out" on special edition, new, and popular items. Pre-order any running gear if at all possible. Most brands have pre-order options on items and you can be the first to know about pre-order options if you subscribe to their mailing lists or if you follow them on any social network. Endure usually makes new designs for these races and often sell out by the end of day two of the expo. Click here to pre-order one of our 19.3 Elephants or beads that fit Pandora! See the photos below for a preview of this years necklace and bead. Below, you'll also find some examples of other popular Endure items that have sold out before the expo ended.

#5 Dress AppropriatelyDress to Impress! If you’re not dawning your runDisney gear, and you’re not wearing something with a Disney character on it, you might feel a little out of place. I'm not saying that every person is wearing Disney attire, but if you own it, you'll probably wish you were wearing it if you don't. Being at the race expo is like being around thousands of Disney-fanatics high on running endorphins…wait, it’s not “like” that, it “IS” that! Be prepared to be in the middle of a swarm of happy people who are doing nothing but talking about the race and finding the perfect race gear for their weekend attire. Make sure to wear your shopping outfit. Easy-on and easy-off is the key. You’ll most likely be trying on shoes, shirts, and skirts so wear shoes that are easy to take on and off and clothes you don’t mind changing in and out of. The expo is filled with running apparel and accessories that you won’t want to pass up. When you scroll down you'll see some of my outfit ideas for some of the past Disney races I've run along with some other outfit ideas from our friends at Running Skirts and Sparkle Athletic!

One of my favorite outfits from last year. Not too over-the-top, but if you can't tell, it's a Snow White-Inspired running outfit and I'm wearing a sparkly Sweaty Bands headband :)


Minnie Mouse-Inspired Running Costumes by Running Skirts

Cinderella-Inspired Running Outfits by Sparkle Athletic

New Neon Compression Socks by Running Skirts to complete your race-day costume. I'm going to be wearing yellow socks this weekend!

See you on the course! And for those of you running Star Wars in January…may the course be with you!

xoxo

Sunny